Saturday, July 22, 2017

Adam Savage Incognito as King Arthur at Comic-Con 2017

How cool is this?! Definitely checking out the full episode.

From the video description:  "Adam fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming King Arthur from the film Excalibur at San Diego Comic-Con! This year's costume is a full suit of armor from Excalibur, made by legendary armorer Terry English who made all the armor for the film. Adam spent over a week at Terry's shop assisting with this build, culminating in this beautiful shiny suit that's surprisingly comfortable to move in! Shot and edited by Gunther Kirsch"

Sunday, July 9, 2017

'The Flintstones' Theme Song - Postmodern Jukebox

An old favorite retro-updated!

p.s. See if you can guess the name of the other show's theme song slipped in toward the end.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest: Please Vote for Dragonfriend's Cover



I think my cover for Dragonfriend is a fine cover. 

The good folks at indieBrag do too and nominated it as a finalist in their 2017 cover contest. 

If you agree with our assessment of Dragonfriend's cover, please go to the indieBrag site and vote for it in two categories: Middle Grade/Young Adult AND Overall Favorite. Just scroll through the genres and vote along the way in other categories like Sci-Fi and Historical Fiction. 

After you've voted for Dragonfriend (2X!) and reach the end of the genre nominees, press "Finish Submission." 

They'll ask you to sign up for their mailing list and I recommend that you do since their site's an excellent resource for finding quality indie books like Dragonfriend!

Here's the LINK.

Thank you for your support!

Roger

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz

"Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz": I wrote for this fun show last year. It just started airing on Boomerang's streaming service so check it out! #otherwriting

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DRAGONFRIEND: indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest Finalist!

The cover for Dragonfriend was nominated as a finalist in the first annual "indieBRAG 2017 Cover Contest." Yay! You may recall this is the same organization that awarded their medallion to Dragonfriend a few years back. So this is pretty cool. Contest voting will be open to fans and readers starting on July 1st. I'll post a link to the indieBRAG site on that date. Then, if you are so inclined, you can go and vote for my book's cover!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Sci-Fi Novel Update

After receiving some wise counsel from several of my author pals, I've decided to go the Kindle Scout route with my space opera novel. As my friends pointed out, the concern about "having to do a lot of promotion" to get people to nominate my book is a hollow one. I was reminded that even traditionally-published authors have to self-promote like crazy these days (unless they're already big name authors or celebrities) and self-published authors definitely have to do that. The consensus: if I was fortunate enough to get a publishing contract with Kindle Press, it wouldn't be so bad to have Amazon as a marketing ally. In other words, worth the effort.

So...

Sci-Fi Wallpaper from Fond Décran (not my cover art, but cool nonetheless)
To get things just right, I'm in the middle of a heavy-duty polish edit of the manuscript. I lopped off the first chapter to get things moving right away and am currently involved in the somewhat tricky process of seeding anything of importance from the former Chapter One into the rest of the book. Somewhat tricky, but also fun in a jigsaw puzzle kind of way. I'm also doing a chapter-by-chapter edit for continuity and overall readability. At the end of the above edit I'll go through everything one more time by having MS Word read my words back to me in its quirky Text To Speech voice (I use "David" because he sounds like an authoritative robot 😉).

Then...

I'll get everything together--manuscript, cover, logline, brief summary, etc.--and submit it to the folks at Kindle Press. At this point, the self-promoting (begging) will begin in earnest, and for thirty days I'll be promoting  the link to my "Kindle Scout campaign page" and asking friends, family, and interested parties to go there and nominate my book for publication (free and easy, all you need is an Amazon account). Expect this to happen within the next week or so.

On a related note: I commissioned a super-cool cover for my book and I'm very much looking forward to showing it to everyone when my campaign launches. See ya soon!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

10000 chickens vs. 20 T-Rexes

Not sure if authentic physical and behavioral species characteristics are at play here (I'm pretty sure chickens don't explode, right?), but this does serve as an amusing exercise in "what if" theory.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Space Opera Novel: What Should I Do Next?

Spaceship concept art by Viktor Titov
Okay, here's the deal. A little over a year ago I finished my YA space opera, had my trusted beta-readers help me pummel it into shape, then had it professionally proofread. I was all set to commission a cover and self-publish when a good friend of mine (who's very cool and also happens to be an author) asked if I'd be interested in a referral to the "Well-Respected Literary Agency" (not the agency's real name). "Heck, yeah!" sez me. I submitted my first chapter to the WRLA and politely waited for word on whether or not they were interested in reading the full manuscript.

They were not. Seven months later I get a "Thanks, but no thanks." email. Disappointing, but not wholly unexpected. Ultimately, I'm fine with it, only wishing they would've made their decision sooner.

So...here I am back at square one. I've got a novel that's close to being ready (I want to go through it one more time just for giggles), but now face some additional possibilities that occurred to me while waiting for the WRLA's decision.

Basically, I'm stuck in an indecision loop and am asking for your help to break out of it.

My options:
  • Proceed as originally planned. Commission e-book and paperback covers, then self-publish.
  • Submit manuscript to Amazon's Kindle Scout program. This is an option that requires minimal "documentation" and an e-book cover (supplied by the author). The idea is that the author submits a manuscript/cover and, if accepted, a "campaign" is launched wherein readers nominate the book for publication.  At the end of a successful campaign (45 days or less), "a publishing contract with Kindle Press" is issued. Paperback rights are retained by the author and a modest advance is awarded. The downside is that I think you have to have A LOT of readers nominate your book to get a contract. The amount of self-promotion required during this campaign has to be staggering.
  • Submit manuscript to TOR Forge. This publisher is one of a very few that has an open submissions policy, meaning you don't need an agent. That and the bonus of having the support of a real live publisher are the upside. The downside is that they are understandably awash in submissions and, unlike Kindle Scout, there's a fair amount of documentation that has to generated--full synopsis, cover letter--all paper, no digital submissions accepted. Then there's this: "If you do not receive a reply after six months, please resubmit. It’s likely that your project or our response disappeared in transit." Whaaat? Not sure if I can hold it together for another 6 months of waiting for a response that may or may not come. Am I being too impatient?
  • Query more literary agents. This one's purposely placed at the bottom of the list because I don't want to go through what will no doubt be multiple rounds of WRLA-style waiting. Is this unrealistic of me?
Anyhoo...that's where I am at this point. What should I do next? Let me know what you think of the above options and if any one of them is clearly superior to the others, or if you're able to see a positive aspect of an option that isn't currently clear to me. I'm also open to new suggestions.  Thank you in advance for your wise counsel. :)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Update: The Great Tree: Undrastormur, Part 2

Just a quick update... The early beta reader notes are starting to come in. I got one yesterday from Eirikur, my pal from Iceland. He works for the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and keeps me honest on Norse terms (names, etc.). For example, he told me that "the 'Einherjar' are a select group and their name should be capitalized instead of lower case." and that "The correct name of Thor's second goat is "Tanngnjóstur" which would sound like "Tanngnjost" in English." Mythology geek that I am, I love this kind of stuff. It means a lot to me to be as "authentic" and true to the era as possible. Thanks, Eirikur!


"Einherjar" (the ghostly warriors of Norse mythology) by Sebastian Horoszko / Kraków, Poland https://www.artstation.com/artist/sebastianhoroszko

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Walking Out of War" Excerpt and Invitation to Pre-Order


http://amzn.to/2kpRuMo

Author Scott Bury's nonfiction/memoir Walking Out of War is now available for pre-order. Just follow this link to its Amazon page. The book officially debuts on February 22nd.

Here's a brief description followed by an excerpt:

 

Walking Out of War: A True Story
Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.

Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction and rape. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.

Maurice knows his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.
Excerpt:

Maurice and the Truck 
Latvia, October 1944

Maurice took out his pack of cigarettes from his inside pocket. They were damp, too, but he managed to light one and held the match for Stepan to light his, too. Even our cigarettes have to come from America. And they’re better than Russian cigarettes, too.
“Dig in, boys,” said a sergeant from another company. “Captain wants you to raise a berm along here,” he swept his arm along, indicating a line from a stand of burnt trees to a blasted barn. “Four men stand watch behind it at a time. The rest can sleep in what’s left of that barn.” He left to order other men to raise temporary, rudimentary defenses on the other side of the little camp.
The men shoveled and made a low dike with a shallow moat in front of it, good enough to hide behind and protect them against bullets. A lieutenant took three other men into the barn’s roofless loft as look-outs, even though they would not be able to see anything on this rainy night.
The berm complete, Maurice and a few other men set up the Maxim behind it and then huddled in the slightly dryer lee of a burned shed to eat their mobile rations. “Even our food comes from America,” he muttered, and surprised himself when he realized he had spoken aloud.
“Those cowboys know how to cook, too,” said another young soldier that Maurice did not know. He opened his tin can of rations. “This ham is very tasty.”
“It’s better than what we used to get,” said Maurice. Damn. I shouldn’t have said that.
“What did you used to get?” asked Taras around a mouthful of food.
“Just the Russian garbage. Sometimes, it was just stale bread.”
“When was that?”
Think fast, Maurice. “During training. The food was crap in the Donbas.”
The others nodded as if that made sense, and Maurice stifled a relieved sigh.
“Think the war will be over soon? Fritz is on the run,” said the man who liked the ham.
“It’s still a long way to Germany, and Hitler doesn’t want to give up any land,” Serhiy Koval said.
“France has been liberated, Belgium and Luxembourg too, and I heard that the Canadians have entered Holland,” said the ham lover. “Bulgaria and Hungary have turned against Germany, too. Germany can’t last.”
Maurice laughed bitterly. France had been liberated, or most of it, anyway. Italy soon would be completely free of Hitler. But what about Latvia? Estonia had declared itself a free country when the Red Army drove the Germans out, but its government had to flee the Soviets, too. Latvia would soon be firmly in Stalin’s grip.
And Ukraine? The Red Army had rolled across its flat fields in a matter of months, rolling up the Germans almost as quickly as the Germans had taken the country in 1941. Ternopyl had been destroyed in the fighting. The fall of Hitler’s empire would be the rise of Stalin’s.
A truck groaned up to the barn and parked for the night. The driver got out and three other men jumped out of the back and started unloading. Maurice shivered and felt water seeping through the canvas uppers of his boots. He looked longingly at the truck’s cabin. He thought fleetingly of climbing in the back once it was unloaded, but did not want to risk an officer’s ire. Instead, he walked up to the front of the truck and leaned against the grill. The engine’s damp heat suffused him, strengthened him. He closed his eyes and tilted his head back, thinking deliberately of his mother’s kitchen, of Katerina’s bed, of warm sunshine on the hills. For a delicious minute, he was no longer at war, but studying again beside his sister Hanya, sitting by the pietsch, his huge cat on his lap, a heavy book balanced on the table.
It couldn’t last. The sergeant walked into the barn, turning slightly as he passed Maurice. “Bury, you’re on first watch. Get up to the line.” Then he disappeared behind the blackened and splintered wall.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cover Reveal: "Walking Out of War" by Scott Bury

Author Scott Bury plans on releasing Walking Out of War, the third book in his nonfiction/memoir trilogy, on February 22nd.

Until then, here's the cover (which I think looks cool).

Scott describes his trilogy as "based on the experiences of my father-in-law, a Canadian drafted into the Soviet Red Army in World War 2."

The first two books in the series are titled Army of Worn Soles and Under the Nazi Heel.

I'll update you when the third book is set up for pre-orders.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Back to the Source - A Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) Documentary

If, like me, you're fascinated by medieval-style hand-to-hand combat, especially swordplay, then you must watch this beautifully produced documentary.

It's about a growing group of dedicated martial artists who are using period source material (primarily treatises and instruction manuals written by medieval sword masters) to revive this storied martial tradition.